I vividly opened my eyes and noticed a family approaching. My mouth caught up with another’s, a complete stranger. I knew his name and little of his background; teenage me at a park badly attempting my first kiss. Romantic flicks offered no truth on how to kiss well.
Why do lovers kiss?
Saliva swapping (to grossly define what most of us casually do), can release dopamine and help us choose who we’d like to have sex with, according to Healthline.
I was once a date, with a Frenchman, who believed he carried a French Je ne sais Quoi. He fumbled like a child whose hand bobs up and down in uncertainty to a teacher’s question. Lying over me, dressed, his thin frame barely pulled on my stomach or made my lungs gasp for air. Then his mouth, a top lip and bottom in equal measurement, pursed as one does to apply balm. Slowly I wrenched as his mouth proceeded to eat mine. His tongue poked for leftovers.
“Ah, you don’t like making out?”
“I don’t feel like doing it tonight.”
“Okay. Most women love making out with me, but sure, we can kiss with mouths closed.”
He pecked, shifting from feasting animal to miming a snake’s prey. A flimsy bird confused where to dine with smooching off limits. And with that, sex too. You can experience terrible sex many times hoping for improvement. But you can’t forego an irresistible kiss. Learning how to kiss well: is learning how to love.
We sacrifice our health (presuming a lover doesn’t awake to cold sores), to feel a high great chemists can’t formulate with drugs. (Though they can get immensely near). For something so intricate and up-close, it’s amazing how freely we can give kisses away.
As intimate as sex
I’ve had three, unbelievably sensual, wild, passionate sessions. Kissing, that is. My other moments of lip locking range from over keen and disgusting to incredible and merely nice.
The first was in Paris: Devilish, typical beauty. Olive skin and green eyes with a muscular build. Alone, waiting for my friend to unlock our apartment, he longingly traced my body and pushed me against the wall. In quick recession, our hands knowingly knew where to touch as we kissed a kiss that couples bequeath on permanent goodbyes. For one moment, we were Parisians starring in a cliché tango.
My initial love, the man who taught me how to accept parting sorrow, comically sat me down at midnight to ‘watch’ a film on robots. First, we leaned close, our hands played an interlocking game; fingers stroked our arms till our lips begged for attention. We were so wrapped up in each other; his comfort felt like a blanket on a rainy night. For hours we made out, creatively encountering new positions. A perfect balance between security and passion. I remember feeling sexy – I couldn’t be replaced or less desired in that moment.
The third, the briefest. A secluded lift. As I stepped in, he paused to lock eyes. He pressed our floor button; and as though a well-rehearsed dance, he walked up to me as the lift doors began to close. His arms gripped round and inside my jacket precisely as the lift shut. For less than a minute, we intertwined with excitement; anticipation for unassuming crowds to catch our inappropriate intimacy. We reach the ground floor with seclusion. Inside our taxi, he continued to aroused by kissing my neck and whispering for me to slip off my underwear. “No”, I tried to state in a way that wouldn’t interrupt foreplay. Succumb to his sexual yearning, a few minutes later I admitted, “It’s a body suit. I’m not wearing any.”
Tips on how to kiss well
The most basic requirement: Hygiene. Unless I love or really, really like someone, I try to avoid morning kisses. When you’re dating, mint and chewing gum becomes essential. As does mirror checks after eating – getting up-close to spinach in teeth or food in a beard never bodes well. Lip balm is on par as a huge plus.
Great kissing requires connection: You either risk dominance and hope a person appreciates your lead or you keep at the same pace. With that said, dominance shouldn’t include forceful aggression. Having someone’s tongue shoved down your throat is uncomfortable at best. Kissing needs rhythm syncing – heads tilting together, speed matched, the same amount of tongue.
As always, confidence is a winner. If you’re going to ask for a kiss, ask with a clear tone. No “um”, “err” or “sorry but…” They say ask for what you want, and asking is a considerate, romantic step. Confidence also means knowing what to do with your hands. My elation drops when a guy nervously places his hand on my shoulder, tapping down to my arm. I love simplicity: arms around my waist or lightly resting between my neck and chin. But it has to be done with sureness.
My three most remarkable kisses involved longing. That glance you give before you move in. Two long and it seems you’re bracing yourself for a dreadful experience – not long enough and you’re just thinking about sex. All it takes is a few seconds of admiring the person before you. And maybe a minute after kissing, a pause to quickly admire them again. Just don’t stare wide-eyed as you kiss – that’s off-putting.
“We are all mortal until the first kiss and the second glass of wine” – Eduardo Galeano
Surprise: catching a partner off-guard. Stopping them on the way to dinner; going back for an extra kiss when you’ve already headed to the door. Surprise can be about urgency – yearning to sporadically need someone. A private embrace in a lift, a quick touch in a secluded bar. One of my last dates kissed me in the rain – we had got drenched walking towards shelter, and our hair dripped as though we’d stepped out a shower. If I weren’t so aware of the people surrounded us, him telling me I looked sexy before kissing would have made my ultimate kissing memory list. (Yes, that’s a legit thing we all ought to mentally create).
A build-up: Foreplay starts before you get to the bedroom. The moving in closer, the subtle hand on leg touches, a quick cuddle waiting for a taxi. The delicate signs an individual is physically attracted to you as well.
Above all, in figuring how to kiss well: Making sure you kiss the right person. Bad chemistry interferes with every point mentioned.
What are your top tips for how to kiss well? Have I missed anything out?